Being Human: Practicing Humanity
It’s been 17 years living here. A multifarious place where heterogeneousness prevails. People here are lovers, people are haters, people are innovators, people are imitators, people are arbitrators, people are instigators, people are investigators, people are spectators, people are humans and…but…wait. I would like to restate the last statement. People “think” they are humans. In this highly sophisticated world, what does it takes to classify one as a human? 2 eyes, a brain, a heart or a tongue?Any other materialistic requirement maybe? If you evaluate this way, RETHINK. Just having these human characteristics does not exactly classify us under the exalted category of humans. Using our brains to think for the benefit of others is being human, feeling the agony of others is being human, raising our voices against injustice is being human. In short, practicing, safeguarding and promoting humanity is what it takes to acquire the status of a “Human”.
This may sound like a stereotypical exaggerated emotionally animated statement, but this is, the fading reality of our so called civilized world.
After final exams, I was keen to volunteer for community service somewhere. Community service is greatly valued in well-developed and educated countries but undermined in others, with Pakistan falling in the latter. Having taken part in different community works like donating books to the needy students, doing charities to various organizations and road cleaning projects (Islamabad Motorway cleanup project 2011 for example), I wanted to contribute more towards the society. Therefore I volunteered for a week to teach street children at a special organization in my city. This school provided a platform to people where they can teach and learn many things from underprivileged children. It only takes a moment of time and everything can change – from a few seconds to even a minute and your life could change before your eyes. That is exactly what happened with me. Metamorphosis!
It was a golden experience. Never before had I realized how much a smile on a random kid’s face could mean to me, or how a random kid not remaining ‘random’ any more would feel. Although I was supposed to teach them the syllabus, the process went the other way round, with those kids unintentionally, unknowingly enlightening me with the fact that what actually life is, its purpose, its reality, how to smile when life is harsh on you, how to remain steadfast in extreme situations, how to find happiness in little things…and the list goes on and on.
When I asked them about their aspirations, they left me absolutely stunned with their replies. Each of them had different ideas, like doctor, pilot, engineer, president of the country; but one thing that they all had in common was to serve humanity. The future doctors wanted to set up clinics in remote areas free of cost, the engineers wanted to earn and set up an organization for underprivileged children, the future president wanted to eradicate hunger and poverty altogether! Well, these professions were actually meant for serving people, but nowadays, everyone wants to earn money, become rich, drive expensive cars and that’s about it. Although these children are far from the materialistic, developed, civilized world, they are closer to God and life than anybody else is, and only they know the true meaning of life.
I was amazed to see how intelligent these kids were, how my student’s face used to lighten up when I told him that he is doing really well. Moreover, for the first time in summer, I did something meaningful. Something for others; something for a change. The time I spent teaching there, the laughs we shared, all the giggles and the smiles will stay etched in my memories. Yes, we care for each other. We are brothers. We are citizens of the world. We are HUMANS.
Our role as a citizen of Earth cannot be specified or defined. I will keep it simple. Just try to make a difference, as I did. Whatever you do, wherever you are, if you are doing something for the benefit of a person or a community, you are justifying your role as a citizen of Earth.